The Healing Power of Physical Therapy for Postpartum Recovery

By Tiffany McCasland | Video by The Jackson Clinics

Welcoming a new life into the world is an incredible experience, but it can also bring physical challenges for mothers. The journey of pregnancy and childbirth can leave a lasting impact on the body, affecting core strength, pelvic floor function, and overall well-being. Fortunately, physical therapy offers a holistic approach to postpartum recovery, addressing various issues that arise during this transformative period.

I’m Tiffany, the CMO of MightyMeals and Mom of a 7-year-old and a 10-month-old. After my second son, who was born via C-section (caesarean delivery), I worked with a physical therapist at The Jackson Clinics to support my postpartum healing, and to help me regain strength, functionality, and confidence.

My sessions at Jackson Clinics helped me to:

Restore Core and Pelvic Floor Strength

The birthing process can place significant strain on the core muscles and pelvic floor, leading to weakened or damaged tissues. Physical therapy plays a vital role in rehabilitating these areas, addressing concerns such as diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles) and pelvic floor dysfunction. Through targeted exercises and techniques, a skilled physical therapist can help restore core stability and improve pelvic floor strength, enabling mothers to engage in everyday activities and exercise without pain or functional limitations.

Manage Urinary Incontinence

Many women experience urinary incontinence following childbirth, which can manifest as leaking, trickling, or a lack of control. Physical therapy offers effective strategies to address this common postpartum concern. Therapists employ techniques such as pelvic floor exercises, bladder retraining, and behavioral modifications to improve bladder control and reduce urinary incontinence, allowing new mothers to regain confidence in their daily routines.

Enhance Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Caring for a newborn can be physically demanding, requiring mothers to constantly support and carry their baby. Amidst this intense responsibility, cardiorespiratory fitness often takes a backseat. Physical therapy provides tailored exercises and conditioning programs to help new moms rebuild their cardiovascular endurance. By gradually increasing activity levels and incorporating safe, low-impact exercises, physical therapy promotes overall fitness, energy levels, and resilience.

Alleviate Postpartum Depression

The emotional well-being of new mothers is as important as their physical health. Physical activity has been shown to have positive effects on mental health and can play a role in reducing postpartum depression. Engaging in regular physical therapy sessions not only promotes physical recovery but also provides an opportunity for mothers to prioritize self-care and engage in activities that release endorphins, reduce stress, and improve mood.

Strengthen Hip Muscles for Baby Care

Caring for a newborn involves repetitive movements such as carrying, holding, and feeding, which can put strain on the hips and lower back. Physical therapy focuses on strengthening the hip muscles, improving stability, and enhancing functional movements required for baby care. By targeting these specific areas, physical therapists can help new mothers reduce discomfort and prevent long-term musculoskeletal issues associated with childcare tasks.

Reduce Neck and Back Pain during Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience, but it can lead to postural imbalances and discomfort, particularly in the neck and back. Physical therapy offers ergonomic education, postural correction techniques, and targeted exercises to alleviate pain and strain during breastfeeding. By optimizing body mechanics and providing necessary support, physical therapists empower mothers to breastfeed comfortably and without added physical stress.

MightyMeals is the Official Meal Prep Company of The Jackson Clinics.

The Jackson Clinics, LP, (TJC) is a physical therapist-owned outpatient orthopedic practice that has locations throughout the Washington D.C. metro region. TJC was founded in 2005 by Richard and Anna Jackson with the goal of becoming a world-leading physical therapy practice with education as the key to the highest quality and consistency of professional excellence and personal touch.

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